[Marxism] [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] Private Businesses Built Modern China. Now the Government Is Pushing Back.

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Thu Oct 4 10:23:36 MDT 2018


Louis Proyect wrote

Today, the private sector contributes nearly two-thirds of the country’s 
growth and nine-tenths of new jobs, according to the All-China 
Federation of Industry and Commerce, an official business group. So 
pressures on private businesses could create serious ripples.

Beijing must find ways to pay for increasing ambitious social programs 
like universal health care. It is also trying to curb problems caused by 
business run amok, like pollution and poor treatment of workers, as well 
as years of companies dodging taxes.

...a sense of urgency — fueled in part by China’s slowing growth and 
rising pressures from President Trump’s trade war — has driven a growing 
number of officials and economists to speak out on the government’s 
changing stance on private business.

Private enterprises are plagued by concerns and “dissatisfaction,” said 
Ma Jiantang, the top party official at the Development Research Center, 
a high-level government think tank, at the same forum, according to a 
transcript.

Xiao Han, an associate law professor in Beijing, cited one of Aesop's 
fables, of a man trying and failing to stop a donkey from going over a 
cliff. “Before long,” Mr. Xiao said, “we’ll probably find a body of a 
China donkey under the cliff.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Donkey and His Master, an Aesop Fable

A man was leading his donkey down a road, when the donkey got free and 
ran to the edge of a high cliff. The man ran as fast as he could to the 
donkey and grabbed his tail to stop the donkey from going off the edge 
of the cliff. But the donkey was stubborn; the more the man tried to 
stop him, the more the donkey pulled the other way.
"Oh well," said the man, "if you are determined to go your own way, I 
cannot stop you."

A strong-willed beast will go his own way even to destruction.
-----------------
So my question:

Capitalism is driven, inexorably, by profit. Profit requires, 
ineluctably, competition equivalent to warfare, actually including 
warfare, and unlimited expansion of capital. Capital, private or public, 
has in a cutthroat global market the same rules of profit and expansion. 
Does the Chinese government, even a strong-man central oligarchic 
government, even with control of the the rule-making process and the 
People's Liberation Army, have the power to counteract this innate 
tendency of capital? In a market surging beyond borders, where 
competitiveness and growth no longer depend on national states? Rather, 
don't national states serve as the enabling adjuncts of transnational 
capital, which settles its headquarters in that national state most 
conducive to corporate expansion, lowest cost, most relaxed rules and 
regulations inhibiting expansion, infrastructure and workforce most 
favorable to realization of profit? And even if that capital grows with 
state assistance? Does that imperative preclude curbing gigantic, 
ravening corporate capital in ways that diminish its competitive 
position, in an anarchic, centrifugal global context, even to avoid 
environmental consequences? Adjust and fine-tune administrative 
controls, maybe, but inhibit global position?

Is this depiction of capital too rigid or fanciful? Aren't those quoted 
above saying the same thing, in cryptic ways?

Just asking: Can any top-down state do this, go it alone, once it's 
full-on in a single global market? Is China somehow in a different ballpark?

So then, is the law professor right about Aesop's Fable and the 
capitalist donkey?


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